British banking group HSBC says a programme to migrate its global operations onto a single technology platform is gathering momentum, with deployments in seven countries in the first half of 2008.
The bank's One HSBC initiative aims to establish a common technology platform across business units and regions. HSBC says the programme aims to "re-engineer the company so that wherever possible we use global systems". This is expected to drive down costs and improve customer service.
In its first half trading statement, the bank says the programme is starting to bear fruit, with a slowing of its cost growth in the first six months of the year.
"Standardising our service proposition under the One HSBC programme has cut our service interruptions in half," says the bank.
In the first six months the One HSBC suite was rolled out in Poland, Brunei, Australia, Russia, Chile, Indonesia and Slovakia, with another seven countries slated to deploy the technology in the second half of the year.
The One HSBC suite can be deployed in a country as a fully integrated package, which is particularly beneficial in emerging markets because it reduces bespoke software costs, says the bank.
The bank says the suite's call centre system has already reduced call times for customers. Furthermore, around three-quarters of the bank's global credit card base is now on the One HSBC Cards platform, with India and Indonesia set to migrate this year.
For the first half of the year HSBC is reporting a 28% fall in pre-tax profit, to $10.2 billion from $14.2 billion a year ago.